Tuesday's Diamond Notes
July 4, 2017
By Joe Williams
Hottest team: Giants (6-0 past six games) Coldest team: Athletics (0-6 past six games, 4-10 past 14 overall)
The Giants have rolled to six straight victories, playing their best baseball of the season. The Giants are coming off an impressive three-game sweep of the Pirates in Pittsburgh, and that comes on the heels of a three-game sweep against the previously hot Rockies. San Francisco has outscored their opponents 38-17 during the impressive six-game run, allowing three or fewer runs in five of the outings. The Giants look for their seventh straight against Michael Fulmer, and the Tigers are just 2-5 over his past seven outings. However, at home he has been much better, as the Tigers are 8-3 in his past 11 assignments at Comerica Park.
On the other side of the bay, the Athletics have been one of the coldest teams in baseball. They can't seem to buy a hit lately, averaging just 2.0 runs per game over the past five outings. The A's are 0-7 in their past seven home games against a right-handed starter, 0-5 in their past five home games against a team with a losing record and 0-5 in their past five overall vs. RHP. They have also dropped eight in a row overall at home. 'Big Game' James Shields hasn't been much better for the White Sox, and the team is 7-15 over his past 22 overall, 1-5 over his past six road outings and 1-9 in his past 10 against teams with a losing overall mark.
Hottest pitcher: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (12-2, 2.32 ERA)
The All-Star Kershaw will be on the mound against the Diamondbacks hoping to avoid the fireworks he has provided in recent starts. He has already served up a career-high 17 homers through 116 1/3 innings, although he has limited the damage somehow since he still ranks third in the majors with a 2.32 ERA while striking out 135 batters with a .202 opponent batting average and sparkling 0.91 WHIP. The Snakes are just 1-4 over their past five against left-handed pitchers and they're 1-10 in their past 11 with Patrick Corbin making a road start. Arizona is also 0-4 in Corbin's past four starts against the Dodgers, while L.A. is 8-3 in Kershaw's past 11 at home against the D-Backs and 5-1 in his past six outings against Arizona overall. The Diamondbacks are also a dismal 7-24 in their past 31 forays into Chavez Ravine.
Coldest pitcher: Homer Bailey, Reds (0-2, 27.00 ERA)
Bailey is making his way back after major reconstructive elbow surgery and he hasn't looked good in his two outings since returning to the big club. He has allowed 14 runs and 12 hits in just 4 2/3 innings while walking five batters and striking out four. The Reds have really been struggling with or without Bailey, going 5-22 over their past 27 road games and 6-17 in their past 23 games overall. The Reds are also just 14-38 in their past 52 games against a left-handed starter on the road, so it will be an uphill climb for Bailey. Cincinnati is also just 14-33 in their past 47 tries at Coors Field.
Biggest UNDER run: Rockies (5-0-1 past six overall)
The 'under' is not exactly the first thing you think of when talking about the Rockies. However, these Rockies have been ice cold lately. Their pitching has been above-average, while their offense has been struggling. Of course, that 5-0-1 'under' streak for Colorado could be in jeopardy with Bailey scuffling on the mound for the Reds. The 'under' is an impressive 7-0 over Kyle Freeland's past seven home starts and 12-2-2 across his past 16 starts overall. The under is also 4-0 in Colorado's past four vs. RHP and 2-0-2 in his past four against teams with a losing overall mark. Of course, the over is 4-1 in the past five meetings in this series with a 10-4-1 record in the past 15 meetings at Coors Field.
Biggest OVER run: Rangers (4-0 past four overall)
The Rangers haven't been doing terribly well lately, and the over has been the result for Texas. The over is 4-0 in their past four games overall, 15-5-1 in their past 21 games at home and 5-0-2 in Yu Darvish's past seven home starts against a team with a winning overall record. The over is also 3-1-1 in the past five at home for the Rangers against winning teams. In this series the over is 4-1 in the past five meetings, although the under is 12-5-1 in the past 18 meetings in Arlington.
Matchup to watch: Indians vs. Padres
The Padres and Indians clash in a rare interleague series. San Diego has the misfortune of facing the American League pitcher of the month of June, Corey Kluber. He is 7-2 with a 3.02 ERA, 20 walks and 105 strikeouts over 80 1/3 innings. He has lasted at least seven innings in each of his past four outings while turning in quality starts in each of the past six outings. In addition, Kluber has rolled up 10 or more strikeouts in five of the past six starts. That's bad news for a Padres offense which has struck out 772 times across 82 games (9.41 per game) to rank fifth in the majors. San Diego also ranks dead last in runs scored with 296, 20 fewer than the next worst team.
Betcha didn’t know: The Orioles pitching staff has struggled mightily, and Ubaldo Jimenez is no exception. While he did look sensational last time out against the Blue Jays, working eight scoreless innings with a season-high eight strikeouts, he still has a dismal 6.48 ERA overall. He is 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA across six starts against the Brewers. The Orioles are actually an impressive 12-5 across Jimenez's past 17 starts, and and even better 10-1 in his past 11 interleague assignments. While they're 7-21 over the past 28 road games, they might have the right pitcher on the mound for success.
Biggest public favorite: Dodgers (-300) vs. Diamondbacks, Indians (-300) vs. Padres
Biggest public underdog: Red Sox (+125) at Rangers
Biggest line move: Dodgers (-275 to -300) vs. Diamondbacks
Joe Williams can be followed on Twitter at JoeWilliamsVI.
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